Bushfire-affected communities encouraged to apply for recovery grants

Media releases: 1 July 2020

News Corp Bushfire Fund offers grants up to $25,000

With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift across the country, hundreds of communities impacted by last summer’s bushfires are finally able to refocus on their recovery. Thanks to generous support from News Corp, FRRR is offering more community recovery grants across the local government areas (LGAs) declared as fire-affected.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that there is nearly $630,000 available through the News Corp Bushfire Fund program to support the myriad of community-led recovery initiatives that have largely been on hold since early March.

“Through our work over the last 20 years, including supporting those impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, we know that every community is different. This is particularly true when it comes to bushfire recovery, as the needs of each place are different depending on the priorities of the community.

“For some communities, this support could include purchasing equipment like two-way radios, upgrading emergency evacuation centres or developing a community emergency response plan. For others it could be improving social connectedness and enhancing community spirit through arts programs, mental health workshops or initiatives that will bring visitors back to the community. In short, we support whatever is most important to the community to help them begin to build back better.

“That’s why, in partnership with News Corp, we are offering grants of up to $25,000 that can be put toward any charitable project that local not-for-profit groups identify as helpful to recovery efforts,” Ms Egleton explained.

This will be the second round of funding from the News Corp Bushfire Fund, which awarded nearly $370,000 in grants last month.

Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times and News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador said that the Fund is keen to ensure that there are applications from all of the fire-affected regions.

“Over the summer, there were fires across the country – from Queensland right down the eastern seaboard, as well as in South Australia and Tasmania – and we want to ensure that funds are shared in all the locations where support is needed. So, if you were in a fire-affected area, we encourage you to apply for a grant,” Ms Fowler said.

Applications for the next round of News Corp Bushfire Fund grants close 5 August, with funds expected to be awarded in October.